Over a million and a half Ukrainian children have crossed the border into Poland and other NATO countries surrounding Ukraine since Russia began its illegal war. Many Ukrainian children are dead. The children who were able to flee with their mothers, grandmothers, across the border are the lucky ones; yet what do the journalist show of these “lucky” children? They are terrified, confused, cold, hungry, some literally starving. The children are dehydrated. Some have walked miles to get to a train or a bus that will take them to safety.
Some were with their mothers and fathers and siblings, and their fear; then dad kissed them goodbye, told them that he loved them, kissed them and hugged them — then turned around and returned to Ukraine to protect a home his family was forced to leave.
In some cases, both parents said their goodbyes and walked back into Ukraine to fight for the sovereignty of the country they love so much, along side their neighbors and friends, and Ukrainians they have never met, yet with whom they have become one in their desire to maintain their freedom and independence.
In Poland, there are welcome centers set up at the border so that Ukrainians can feel that they are very welcomed and that they don’t have to fear for their lives any longer. There is always hot coffee waiting for them. There are huge containers filled with diapers and layette sets and blankets and bottles and nipples, warm sweaters, boots, winter coats, mittens. There are interpreters to help them find their way. For the Ukrainians with family and friends in Poland, they are put on buses to take them to the area their family live; so if grandma or great aunt is living in a particular area away from the border, they will be taken to that area. If they have no one in Poland, and don’t have a place they want to go, they will be taken to a safe place in Poland where the mothers and grandmothers can live with their children until the war is over.
One of the many heartaches are the children that are being shipped over the borders in trains, who were in hospitals, who are extremely ill, who are on IVs and strong medications. They are traveling with their mothers and nurses, and it is so important for them to get out or they will die — they may not have a fatal illness or injury, but Russia has already shown that no hospital, orphanage, school, hospice or any other place is safe from its missiles.
If you want to help, the first thing that you need to do is to pray. Pray for all Ukrainians. The second thing is that there are a lot of relief organizations on the ground in the Ukraine and in all the NATO countries surrounding Ukraine that are providing help and financial aid to the Ukrainian refuges.
There are two organizations that I know of from personal experience that I will mention as a trustworthy place to send money to get the Ukrainian people and children. The first is the International Committee of the Red Cross, who helps people with their immediate basic needs. You can reach them at www.icrc.org or www.ifrc.org for more details on their response in the Ukraine. The second is UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. UNICEF is an arm of the United Nations and will help with children’s medications, nurses, clothing, food and other urgent needs. You can contact UNICEF at www.unicef.org for more details and ways you can help.